More than 200 people took part in memorial services in Northland for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.

At Kerikeri's Turner Centre — the only one of seven council-run services planned around the Far North that wasn't cancelled due to security fears — more than 150 people attended.

The event featured speeches, waiata, prayers and the National Memorial Service livestreamed on to a big screen from Hagley Park in Christchurch.

The audience was made up of council staff, high school students, local hapū and other Mid North residents, who applauded the words of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and attack survivor Farid Ahmed, who forgave the killer even though his wife was among those who had died.

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Armed police on guard outside the Turner Centre in Kerikeri during Friday's memorial service. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Armed police on guard outside the Turner Centre in Kerikeri during Friday's memorial service. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Some women at the service, including Kerikeri's Gigi Sosnoski, wore headscarves as a gesture of solidarity.

Sosnoski said she had moved to New Zealand from the US more than 15 years ago, in part to escape her home country's gun violence.

''Any death is tragic but this was incredibly, incredibly horrible. I can't believe this happened in beautiful New Zealand.''

Kerikeri High School prefects address the memorial service. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kerikeri High School prefects address the memorial service. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Sosnoski said she had come to pay her respects and feel at one with the country.

The attack hadn't changed her mind about her adopted home — if anything it had given her greater resolve to stay, and she hoped the tragedy would lead to ''a greater good'' and better understanding.

''I have great love, admiration and respect for what this country stands for, and the inclusiveness it provides,'' she said.

Ten-year-old Ameera Azam with her mother Maria Kire from Taheke. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Ten-year-old Ameera Azam with her mother Maria Kire from Taheke. Photo / Peter de Graaf

The closing prayer was offered by 10-year-old Ameera Azam from Taheke in South Hokianga.

The Kaikohe Intermediate pupil, whose mother is Māori and father is from Fiji, identifies as both Māori and Muslim.

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The attacks had made her ''sad and angry'' so she was pleased she could contribute to the service with a Muslim prayer. She had not suffered any discrimination because of her religion.

''Everyone knows I'm Muslim. They think it's cool.''

Ameera said she liked the speeches by Kerikeri High School prefects and the way the victims had been remembered. Her message was: ''Don't be shy about your culture, be proud.''

Far North District Council chief executive Shaun Clarke (centre) bows his head as the victims' names are read out. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Far North District Council chief executive Shaun Clarke (centre) bows his head as the victims' names are read out. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Other speakers echoed Ardern's calls for an end to hate and greater understanding of New Zealanders of every race and religion.

Organiser Rachel Smith, a Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board member, said it was hard to process the events in Christchurch of two weeks earlier, so it was important that people could come together and honour those who had died.

The Far North District Council had planned similar events in Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Russell, Opononi and Broadwood but they were cancelled late on Thursday on the advice of police because they couldn't guard so many events at once.

Seven police officers armed with Glock pistols and one police dog were stationed around the Turner Centre for Friday's service.

In Whangarei, about half a dozen people came to the Forum North foyer to watch the National Memorial Service on a large screen.

Police and hired security guards were present at both entrances to Forum North as well as on the foyer.

Nyree Sherlock was among the half a dozen people who came along and said it was wonderful that people from all walks of life could take time out and come together to share the grief.

A small number of people turned up at the Forum North to watch the National Memorial Service on TV. Photo/Imran Ali
A small number of people turned up at the Forum North to watch the National Memorial Service on TV. Photo/Imran Ali

"It's absolutely horrific that innocent people at a peaceful prayer session were appallingly murdered. Like others, I was overwhelmed by sadness and shocked.

"But I was also amazed at how the Muslim community can find forgiveness in their hearts and move on. Forgiveness is huge because if you can't forgive, you can't move forward together," she said.

Dry cleaner Darren Martin said while the country mourned the loss of lives, it was time our gun laws and social media platforms were strictly monitored.

Mayor Sheryl Mai said she was not disappointed with the low turnout as the idea was to have space in the council building for people to come and be part of the service.

About 100 people, including students of Pompallier Catholic College and members of other faiths, congregated at the Anglican Church hall to attend Friday prayer for Muslims.

Police kept watch as Imam Suhil Musa led the prayer and thanked everyone, including the Anglican Church for allowing the use of its hall, for their support.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said there was no information to suggest specific risks to public safety, but while the national threat level was high police would remain vigilant and visible throughout the country.

Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson, of Kerikeri police, said the police presence aimed to provide reassurance to the public. There had been no issues during the service.

Police were also keeping up a visible presence at schools, places of worship and town centres, he said.

From left, Maria Kire of Taheke; Kaikohe Intermediate principal Freda Mokaraka and pupils Ameera Azam, 10, Awatea Woodman, 11, and Jayda Dalton, 11; Far North District Council staff member Zakeeda Khan and Mayor John Carter. Photo / Peter de Graaf
From left, Maria Kire of Taheke; Kaikohe Intermediate principal Freda Mokaraka and pupils Ameera Azam, 10, Awatea Woodman, 11, and Jayda Dalton, 11; Far North District Council staff member Zakeeda Khan and Mayor John Carter. Photo / Peter de Graaf